Uzbekistan Travel

Uzbekistan - Surkhandarya Province

Established: 1941
Area: 20,1 thousand sq. km
Population: 1774,4 thousand.

The Surkhandarya province is the southern gate of the Republic of Uzbekistan bordering on Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan. It consists of 14 rural districts - Angor, Oltinsoy, Boysun, Bandikhon, Denovjarkurghon, Kyzaryk, Kumkurgbon, Muzrabod, Sariosiyo, Termez, Uzun, Sberobod, Shurchi; 8 towns - Boysun, Denov, Jarkurghon, Kumkurgbon, Termez, Shargun, Sherobod, Shurchi; 7 town-type-settlements, and 114 villages. The Termez city is the administrative center of the province (708 km away from Tashkent, 112,2 thousand people).

Agriculture: cotton, melons and watermelons, subtropical plants, livestock farming and karakul sheep breeding.
Industry: food and textile industries, coal, natural gas and oil, ores, phosphates, precious stones and non-ferrous metals.

The territory of the province mainly stretches from north to south for 180-200 km and from west to east 70-140 km. The Surhon-Sherobod Valley makes up the major part of the province's territory, encircled by mountain ranges from three sides: Kugitangtogh and Boysuntogh in the west, Ghyssar in the north and Boghot in the east. Only the southern part of the valley, where the Amu Darya River flows, is open.

Surkhandarya is the sunniest province of the country with a dry and subtropical climate. The winters are warm with little or almost no snow and summers are long, hot and dry. The southern part of the province is often hit by "afghan" storms that, along with a strong wind, carry a lot of sand.

The average temperature in winter fluctuates between 3-4 degrees Celsius below zero and 28-32 degrees Celsius above zero. In summer the temperature often reaches 44-46 degrees Celsius above zero.

The landscape of the province is diverse; there are a lot of river valleys, foothills, mountains and rivers. The main rivers are the Surkhandarya, Sherobod, Tupalang, Sangardak, and other rivers, The comfortable climate and beautiful nature served a reason for the early human settlements in the province. In ancient times, the territory of contemporary Surkhandarya was part of the Bactrian State.

The first human settlements were established in the valley of the Boysun Mountain Ranges, where the abundance of mountain forests - the source of wild fruits and animals - created a convenient environment for human settlement. The very first of such settlements is the famous Teshiktosh cave, located on the Zautoloshsoi gorge. It belongs to the period of 100000-40000 B.C. Most of Uzbekistan 's historical sites and monuments are concentrated in the Surkhandarya province. Khalchayon, Dalvarzintepa, Ayiritom, Kyzyltepa. Bandikhon, Kampirtepa are the most important ones.

At the ancient times, the territory of the contemporary Surkhandarya was a part of the Bactrian Kingdom. The Surkhan valley as much as vast areas of Central Asia thus considered to be a part of aforementioned kingdom, which came on the scene in the year 250 B.C. Later, the territory was incorporated into then Kushan state, the historical documents reveal. Hence, there are many various archaelogical monuments found on the territory of today's Surkhandarya province. For example, if 40 town-type settlements discovered on the territory pertain to the epoch of Achaemenid and Bactrian tsars, then more than 120 same type of settlements trace back to the era of Kushan tsars.

The territory of the province contains large deposits of coal, oil, gas, zinc, potassium and sodium chlorides, as well as different kinds of clay.

The hot climate allows for cultivation of different kinds of plants in the province. Cotton is the most widely cultivated crop. Cotton plantations occupy almost 50 percent of the territory. There are districts where fruits and vegetables such as grapes, lemons and apricots are cultivated. The province is the only place in the country where sugarcane is cultivated. The abundance of meadows at the foothills creates a good climate for cattle and karakul sheep farming. Industry is mainly focused on processing of cotton and other agricultural crops. There are textile, sewing factories, vineyards and mills in various rural district centers.

Oil and natural gas is mined at the Havdog, Khakaydi, and L yalmikor deposits. Two out of the three major coal deposits of Uzbekistan are located in the province - Boysun and Shargun. The major industrial enterprises of the province are: the "Jarkurgon-neft", the Denov oil extraction factory, the Boysun experimental silk sewing factory, the Shurchi flour factor), the "UMIDA" Joint Stock Company, the Sherobod ceramics factory, and others. There are several joint stock companies operate in the province such as Uzbek-Indian "Namaf" and "Afruz", "Farmed" and Uzbek- German "Pulat".

The railroad along the route Tashkent-Termez-Dushanbe crosses most of the province's densely populated districts. The total length of the railroad network in the province is 314 km, whereas the total length of automobile network is 6,100 km. Nearly 800 general schools, lyceums, and a number of special musical and sporting schools, Termez State University, 450 libraries, 263 clubs, a museum and a theater operate in the province. There are 114 healthcare establishments and 2 sanatoriums.

Termez is located on the left bank of the Amu Darya River. Old Termez - one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan - was one of the most prosperous cities in the Orient but was destroyed as a result of wars and raids by nomadic tribes. The old Buddhist statues and monuments have been preserved at the center of Old Termez. Contemporary Termez was build next to the ruins of the old town.

Termez is a major port town on the Amu Darya River. It is also the hottest city of Uzbekistan. The registered maximum temperature was 49,5 degrees Celsius above zero. The city is very beautiful and well decorated, and the local zoo has various kinds of flora and fauna. Denov is the second largest city in the province. It is located between the Surkhandarya and Sangardok Rivers.